Risk and Health Communication in an Evolving Media Environment: 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Risk and Health Communication in an Evolving Media Environment

1st Edition

Edited by H. Dan O'Hair


352 pages | 10 B/W Illus.

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pub: 2018-02-05
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Broadcast media has a particular fascination with stories that involve risk and health crisis events—disease outbreaks, terrorist acts, and natural disasters—contexts where risk and health communication play a critical role. An evolving media landscape introduces both challenges and opportunities for using communication to manage extreme events and hazardous contexts.

Risk and Health Communication in an Evolving Media Environment addresses issues of risk and health communication with a collection of chapters that reflect state-of-the-art discussion by top scholars in the field. The authors in this volume develop unique and insightful perspectives by employing the best available research on topics such as brand awareness in healthcare communication, occupational safety, climate change communication, local broadcasts of weather emergencies, terrorism, and the Ebola outbreak, among many other areas. It features analysis of new and traditional media that connects disasters, crises, risks, and public policy issues into a coherent fabric. This book bridges a substantial, but sometimes disconnected body of literature, and by doing so asks how contexts related to risk and health communication are best approached, how researchers balance scientific findings with cultural issues, and how scholars study an increasingly media-savvy society with traditional research methods.

Table of Contents

Table of Contents

Part I: Advances in Health Communication Research


  1. Prelude: Advancing Media Research in Risk and Health Communication Contexts
  2. H. Dan O’Hair


  3. Media Literacy and Parent–Adolescent Communication About Alcohol in Media: Effects on Adolescent Alcohol Use
  4. Michael Hecht, Michelle Miller-Day, and YoungJu Shin


  5. College Students and Legalized Marijuana: Knowledge Gaps and Belief Gaps Regarding the Law and Health Effects
  6. Douglas Blanks Hindman


  7. Out of Sight, Out of Mind?: Addressing Unconscious Brand Awareness in Healthcare Communication
  8. Laura Crosswell, Lance Porter, and Meghan Sanders


  9. Communicating Health-Related Risk and Crisis in China: State of the Field and Ways Forward
  10. Zixue Tai, Zhian Zhang, and Lifeng Deng


    Part II: Communicating and Educating the Public and Media About Risk and Science


  11. Risk Communication in Occupational Safety and Health: Reaching Diverse Audiences in an Evolving Communication Environment
  12. Juliann C. Scholl, Donna M. Van Bogaert, Christy L. Forrester, and Thomas R. Cunningham


  13. Best Practices of "Innovator" TV Meteorologists Who Act as Climate Science Educators
  14. Katherine E. Rowan, John Kotcher, Jenell Walsh-Thomas, Paula K. Baldwin, Janey Trowbridge, Jagadish T. Thaker, H. Joe Witte, Barry A. Klinger, Ligia Cohen, Candice Tresch, and Edward W. Maibach


  15. News Coverage of Cancer Research: Does Disclosure of Scientific Uncertainty Enhance Credibility?
  16. Chelsea L. Ratcliff, Jakob D. Jensen, Katheryn Christy, Kaylee Crossley, and Melinda Krakow


  17. Evaluating Online Health Information Systems
  18. Gary L. Kreps and Jordan Alpert


    Part III: Situating Theory in Risk and Health Communication Contexts


  19. Examining Print Coverage of the Keystone XL Pipeline: Using the Social Amplification of Risk Framework
  20. Michel M. Haigh


  21. Terrorism, Risk Communication, and Pluralistic Inquiry
  22. Kevin J. Macy-Ayotte


  23. Communication Ethics for Risk, Crises, and Public Health Contexts
  24. Shannon A. Bowen and Jo-Yun Li


  25. Inoculation as a Risk and Health Communication Strategy in an Evolving Media Environment
  26. Bobi Ivanov, Kimberly A. Parker, and Lindsay L. Dillingham


    Part IV: Exploring Messages and Media During Extreme Events


  27. First Alert Weather: Local Broadcasters' Communication During Weather Emergencies
  28. Michael D. Bruce, Chandra Clark, and Scott Hodgson


  29. It’s Not Preventable Yet You Are Responsible: Media's Risk and Attribution Assessment of the 2012 West Nile Outbreak
  30. Nan Yu, Robert Littlefield, Laura C. Farrell, and Ruoxu Wang


  31. Competing and Complimentary Narratives in the Ebola Crisis

Morgan Getchel, Deborah Sellnow-Richmond, Chelsea Woods, Greg Williams, Erin Hester, Matthew Seeger, and Timothy Sellnow



About the Editor

H. Dan O’Hair is Dean of the College of Communication and Information and Professor of Communication at the University of Kentucky. He received his PhD in communication from the University of Oklahoma. In 2006, he served as the president of the National Communication Association, the world’s largest and oldest professional association devoted to the study of communication. He has published over 100 research articles and scholarly chapters in risk and health communication, media management, and psychology journals and volumes, and has authored and edited 18 books in the areas of communication, risk management, health, and terrorism. He has been the principal investigator or Co-PI for several grants from business, nonprofit, and government institutions totaling more than $11 million. O’Hair has served on the editorial boards of over 30 research journals and is a past editor of the Journal of Applied Communication Research. In April 2013, he was honored by the Broadcast Education Association with their Lifetime Achievement Award for Scholarship.

About the Series

Electronic Media Research Series

In 2008, the Broadcast Education Association initiated a new program promotion original research. The result was the creation of the BEA Research Symposium and publications. The purpose of the BEA Symposium is as a catalyst for future research. It honors leading scholars of the discipline and features their work along with new and upcoming scholarship. The Electronic Media Research Series was established in 2010. Along with the BEA Research Symposium Series, this series provides keystone research texts for those researching with the discipline. It will bring the reader up to-date relative to the topics and it reflect the current work within the field as well as providing a comprehensive bibliography and index, facilitating further research.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
LANGUAGE ARTS & DISCIPLINES / Communication Studies